Nearly 400 killed and fate of ‘tens to hundreds’ of people unknown after magnitude 7.5 earthquake and tsunami hit Palu.
Nearly 400 people have been killed after a powerful earthquake triggered a tsunami that hit Indonesia‘s central Sulawesi island.
The national disaster agency put the current death toll at 384, all of them reported in the tsunami-struck city of Palu, but warned the number was likely to rise as rescue efforts continued on Saturday.
In Palu – home to around 350,000 people – partially covered bodies lay on the ground near the shore, the day after tsunami waves triggered by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake came ashore.
Tomi Soetjipto, a journalist based in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, said officials feared a “far worse” situation in the neighbouring city Donggala, home to nearly 300,000 people.
“We haven’t heard any news in terms of casualties from there, and officials are foreseeing and fearing the worst,” Soetjipto told Al Jazeera.
The disaster agency, BNPB, also said there were concerns about the whereabouts of hundreds of people preparing for a beach festival due to start Friday evening in Palu.